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Q: discuss The Impact of Mobile Phones on Personal Privacy. ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: discuss The Impact of Mobile Phones on Personal Privacy.
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: vido-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 14 Nov 2002 05:01 PST
Expires: 14 Dec 2002 05:01 PST
Question ID: 107546
The Impact of Mobile Phones on Personal Privacy.
the essay, you should address the issues relating to the increasing
impact of Mobile Phones on people's private life, and focus
particularly on how these new information technologies invade people's
privacy. You will be marked on structure, content and depth of

Here are a few guidelines: 

- The essay is not about you personallly, but about people in general,
avoid using expressions like: "I think that..." or "My view on this

- Use the Internet to find information or your chosen technology
Mobile Phones but remember that books and magazines are also great
sources of info.

Below are a list of my requirements:

        -Font Face: Times New Roman 
        -Font Size: 12 Points 
        -Text should be Justified and Double-Spaced 
        -Display the number of words at the end of your essay 

- The essay should be around 1,000 words long, give or take 200 words.

Clarification of Question by vido-ga on 14 Nov 2002 05:11 PST
Subject: Re: discuss The Impact of Mobile Phones on Personal Privacy.
Answered By: willie-ga on 14 Nov 2002 07:19 PST
Hi, and thanks for the question  

Below is your answer. Google doesn't support font formatting in these
answers, but it will be easy enough for you to cut and paste it from
here into a word processor to format to your requirements. If that's
not good enough, just ask in a clarification, and I'll try to find
somewhere to put the
word processed version for you to download. 

Please ask for clarification if there's anything else you need.  


The Impact of Mobile Phones on Personal Privacy


The definition of the right to privacy is a combination of many
principles upheld by the U.S. Constitution and in the Bills of Rights
of other countries around the world.. These principles are recognized
by the courts and legislative bodies as "the right to be left alone."
This right is under increasing pressure with the rapid expansion of
technology, the latest mass manifestation of which is in the use of
the mobile phone, and the ways in which it can impact on the users
personal privacy.

Impact of Mobile Phones on Personal Privacy

There are several areas where mobile phone usage has impacted on
personal privacy

- SMS Spamming

Since mobile usage began to take off, spam via SMS text messages has
become one the biggest areas of complaint from users. But , in Europe
at least, in the wake of the ruling by the European Parliament's
specialist Citizens' Rights and Freedoms, Justice and Home Affairs
Committee, a ban on SMS spam will pass into European law following
formal approval by the Strasbourg Parliament.

According to members of the Federation of European Direct Marketing
(FEDMA), 56 percent of direct marketing across Europe will be carried
out by mobile short message services either directly or by third party
SMS marketing providers by next year. Bernadette Lyons, managing
director of Mobileway, said the main concern for the European Union is
the privacy rights issues involved in SMS spamming. 'As opposed to
email spamming, consumers find unsolicited SMS much more personal as
the messages are pushed to their mobile phones rather than sitting in
an inbox that needs to be accessed proactively. The medium,' she
stressed, 'is more intimate, more intrusive and consumers generally
always have their mobiles with them. Without guidelines, the
opportunities created for businesses by SMS services are open to
abuse.' (1)

Another aspect of spamming is unwanted intrusion into the users
personal space. One in four children in the United Kingdom have been
bullied or threatened through their mobile phone or PC, according to a
survey commissioned by British children's charity NCH (2)

- Location mapping

Cell phones are now being built that contain a Global Positioning
System (GPS) chip. That means that as long as it's turned on, the
phone "knows" exactly where it is all the time. In many ways, this
feature is quite convenient, e.g. to navigate out of an unfamiliar
neighbourhood, or provide emergency medical personnel with a signal to
respond to. But….It will be much easier for people, including
employers, enemies, and creditors, to track people down. Also,
valuable data about the users habit ( which shopping areas they
frequent, where they spend their leisure time etc ) could
theoretically be sold to marketing companies -- or to anybody else who
wants it.

Alan Davidson, of the Center for Democracy & Technology has said,. "I
don't think people realize how available the information is, and how
it is already being used. We've never had a situation where
information about the location of millions of people is suddenly
readily available, easily and cheaply." (3)

- hacking and e-security

Mobile phones can be hacked, giving criminals access to your data
,which increasingly is coming to contain financial access data such as
credit card numbers, bank account numbers etc.  It is also possible
for criminals to "clone" phones, or for them to steal your phone and
modify the chip, allowing your details to be used outside your network

Also the very nature of cellular and cordless phones causes them to
emit large amounts of Radio Frequency ("RF") energy that can be
intercepted, even from large distances. If an antenna is used then you
can bet that it is not secure. Even the new, so called "secure",
digital spread spectrums (eg: TDMA, CDMA, PCS and GSM) make phone
tapping easy with some low cost equipment. (5)

Companies  are increasingly having to resort to security codes that
prevents a mobile phone from unauthorised use. The security code is
usually supplied with the phone. And must be changed periodically by
the user. If an invalid code is entered more than 2 or 3 times the
phone will "lock". Technologies like this will have to become more
wide spread to increase the public’s confidence in the security of
their mobiles.

- "Big Brother" and e-security

The ease of tapping mentioned above has lead to fears that mobile
phones can be easily accessed by a government intent on keeping ever
closer tabs on it’s population. The Foundation for Information Policy
Research's Caspar Bowden said. "What we are talking about is the
invasion of privacy and restriction on civil liberties by this
information being available as a tool of surveillance…(which)… is like
putting an electronic tag on half the population," (6)

World wide, there is still little legal protection whatsoever for
citizens who object to the collection of data about them.. One privacy
expert in the US said: "There are no legal standards governing how the
information is handled, or what can be done with it, and what rights
people should have to be...notified of the capability. All of that is
wide-open," (4)

In Europe, European law enforcement agencies were recently given
sweeping powers to monitor telephone,traffic in a move denounced by
critics as the biggest threat to data privacy in a generation. (7)

- employer intrusion 

Many mobile phone users also use their mobile phone for business use.
Now that wireless text messaging (email, Instant Messaging, SMS,
etc.), voice mail, and traditional phone calls can be supported in a
single, handheld wireless device that can be shared for all
communication contacts with an individual user, many businesses are
requiring access to the "data" on the phone to check  that "policy" is
not being breached. It may be that to protect themselves from
intrusion by their employers, mobile phone users will in future be
required to carry two such devices, one for personal contacts, and one
for business?

- fractured technology

The many different standards used so far in building cell phones and
networks means building e-security standards will be difficult. In the
United States, half of the 100 million cell phones in use are
old-style analog devices running on one type of network. In the rest
of the world, most use digital mobiles on GSM networks.
But even the GSM phones can't all share information. Users within a
single European country often cannot send each other text, or SMS,
messages via their mobiles because different carriers use different
protocols. (8)
All of this means that unscrupulous individuals can take advantage of
the many different ways to access data while security cannot be
tightened due to lack of standards.


The privacy problems prevalent in the mobile phone industry need to be
addressed, noy only at national lever, but at international level. But
this is unlikely to occur until agreement can be reached on how to
implement e-security on phones and phone networks, both on the
fractured technology, and in such as a way that a user could have
confidence in such security.

(Word count : 1177 words)


(1)  The EU starts the fight against unsolicited SMS (m-CommerceWorld
e-newsletter - May 30, 2002) By Paul Quigley

(2)  The Next Big Privacy Brawl May Be over Your Location. Business
Week article, August 28th 2000
( )

(3)  David Sobel, general counsel of the Electronic Privacy
Information Center in Washington, D.C, quoted in
The Next Big Privacy Brawl May Be over Your Location. Business Week
article, August 28th 2000
( )

(4)  News article on Wired.Com,1383,54771,00.html

(5) Phone Tapping: General Information

(6)  BBC NEWS report: Big Brother or Friendly Helper
( )

(7)  Guardian UK News report: 31st May 2002: Europe Votes to end Data
(,7369,725204,00.html )

(8) News article on Wired.Com: Mobile, but without Direction,1382,38921,00.html
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